An accountant who stole £350,000 from her employers walked free after a judge said she would not fit in in prison.
Natalie Saul, 37, from Wandsworth, south London raided technology firm Idio’s accounts to feed her gambling addiction and blew more than £250,000 playing online poker.
The mother-of-one submitted more than 400 fake invoices to get the cash from the software company between March 2015 and December 2016.
But Saul was given a two-year suspended sentence and 250 hours unpaid work by Judge Catherine Newman, who admitted her sentence was ‘wholly exceptional’ and fell outside sentencing guidelines.
She told Southwark Crown Court Saul was ‘not the general stuff of which the prison population is made’.
The judge added: ‘I’m taking a considerable risk that the Crown will think it lenient and appeal, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.’